ISLAMABAD: Even though terrorists keep rearing their heads from time to time, violence-related fatalities in the country have fallen by 52% in the first quarter of the year when compared to the same period last year.
This was revealed in a quarterly security report prepared by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) and released on Wednesday.
The report showed that in the first quarter of 2017, 592 people had been killed while 2,046. By comparison, 283 people had been killed in the first quarter of 2018.
The fatalities had fallen by over 38% when compared with the last quarter of 2017 when 461 people were killed. The report noted that there were 63 victims of sectarian violence during this quarter, including 24 fatalities and 39 injuries. This, the report said, was a near 50% drop over the last quarter of 2017.
Apart from the 283 people killed, 217 people had suffered injuries from various forms of violence which were recorded during the first quarter of 2018.
The report noted that compared to the last quarter, almost every province or region had shown an improvement in the situation, except for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) which showed a slight increase in fatalities.
However, Balochistan still led with the most number of fatalities at 77 while 88 people were also injured. Sindh was second with 69 fatalities and 20 injuries.
Punjab stood third with 54 fatalities and 56 injuries. It was followed by K-P where 42 people were killed while 38 others were injured.
Fata had 37 fatalities and 15 injuries. At least four people were killed in the Islamabad Capital Territory.
In most districts, the number of fatalities dropped significantly. A total of 69 districts reported fatalities from violence in the fourth quarter of 2017, which fell to just 47 in the first quarter of 2018.
Karachi was the most violent district in the country with 60 fatalities, followed by 41 in Quetta, and 23 in Lahore. DI Khan recorded 16 fatalities.
The main beneficiaries of the drop in violence seemed to be outlaws and militants. While overall violence dropped by 39%, militant fatalities dropped by nearly half (from 161 in the last quarter of 2017 to 82 in the first quarter of 2018).
Of the 82 militants killed, 11 had perished in a US drone strike. In contrast, there was a marginal respite for security officials who saw an 18.6% drop (from 91 fatalities in quarter four of 2017 to 74 in quarter one of 2018). These included 38 policemen, 22 army personnel, eight officials of the Frontier Corps, three Rangers, and a Levies official.
Civilians also showed a 42.5 per cent drop (from 209 in quarter four of 2017 to 120 in the first quarter of 2018).
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the most attacks, accounting for 29 fatalities, including 22 security personnel and seven civilians.
In contrast, TTP lost only four militants in security operations. Of the 11 militants killed in drone strikes, nine belonged to the Haqqani Network the other two were unknown.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2018.